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February 18, 1994     The Message
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February 18, 1994
 

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The Message Monthly -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana --- Perspective- -, People We Care About: We are all one family Remember the people we prayed for who were caught up in the conflict in Kuwait? Even before the American military forces built up in the desert, we learned about Joan Hoehn Khaja. If you remember the story which began in the summer of 1990, you remember reading about the New Harmony native. She is a Catholic, we learned. Her husband is a Muslim. They met at Indiana University. When we first learned about them, they had two children and Joan was pregnant. The tension in Kuwait was no longer a half-a-world a way. We cared what happened. We knew about Joan. We re- joiced with the members of Holy Angels Catholic Church in mid-September of that year, when Joan Khaja and her children came back, safe, to New Harmony. Not long afterwards, we had more reason to be concerned, as military movement sent men and women in the armed forces to the desert areas of the Middle East. Among the fighting forces were people we knew. Among them, just to name a few, were Chief Petty Officer Timothy K. Moore whose parents are members of St. Agnes Church in By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR Evansville; Navy ET-3 William F. Siewers, whose parents are mem- bers of St. Vincent de Paul Church at Vincennes, and Pfc Brett Hanselman, whose mother attends St. Mary Church in Ireland. We cared about them, and we prayed for them and many other men and women from southwest- ern Indiana. They were people we came to know, people who made the world a lot smaller for all of us. The horrible conditions in So- malia, too, brought stories to our doorstep, as once again men and women we knew became involved in relief efforts. The situation turned ugly and we grew even more concerned about the people caught up in conflict. We cared about them. Extraordinary circumstances sometimes help focus our attention on a particular situation -- a war, a famine, a terminal illness. Not all of the stories make the front page of the paper or the lead story on the television news, but even so, we care. We are all members of the same family, the people of God. Individual accomplishments, too, sometimes escape our attention, even without the added cir- cumstances of a national or international event. Birthday number 103. An unusual kindness by one family member for another': If you have read the Message over thet few years, you may have noticed an clude more of these personal stories For a while, we called attention to persons Kuwait and Iraq. For a while, we provided a:l lar feature for families and friends who ask our prayers for those who served Now, with a suggestion from Mary Ann Hughes:, we believe we have way to put our various earlier with a new emphasis -- in a regv "People We Care About." (It is on page 3 current issue.) We invite you to join us in telling our ] about the people we care about -- people might enjoy a little special might need our prayers. You are items to Mary Ann Hughes at Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169. We are many parishes, but all come from a diversity of ethnic we are all brothers and sisters in us to strengthen our family connections southwestern Indiana. : Washington Letter $1.52 trillion budget: Trouble for the poor By NANCY FRAZIER OBRIEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Al- though its full impact will take months or even years to assess, the $1.52 trillion budget intro- duced by President Clinton for fiscal 1995 has some cuts in domestic spending that could spell trouble for the poor and the Catholic social agencies that assist them. Staff members of the U.S. Catholic Conference Depart- ment of Social Development and World Peace will be watch- ing closely as the budget works its way through Congress to assure that program cuts don't fall disproportionately on soci- ety's most vulnerable. The budget proposed by Clinton Feb. 7 "definitely has some troubling aspects," said Tom Shellabarger, USCC pol- icy adviser on urban and eco- nomic issues. He cited major cuts in public housing and rural housing programs, changes in assistance for the homeless and a more than 50 percent reduction in grants by the low-income energy assis- tance program. The housing cuts also have prompted the formation of an Ad Hoc Coalition to Stop the HUD Budget Cuts, which in- cludes the Catholic social jus- tice lobbying group Network. "During the 1980s and early 1990s, federal housing pro- grams bore the brunt of domes- tic budget cuts," said the coali- tion in a statement. "Although there are many competing de- mands on scarce federal dol- lars, the fact remains that nonexistent, inadequate or dangerous housing creates sit- Questions about proposed lay insurance program To the Editor, After reading the articles in the February 4 edition about the diocesan proposal to mod- ify the lay insurance program, several questions remain un- clear to me. One statement that ap- The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerakt A. Gettetflnger Editor ........................................... Paul Leingang Crcuon ................................... Amy Production Maflager ........................... Phil Boger I .................................... Paul New,and Staff Writ ............................. Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster:. Return POD forms 3579 to Offee of Publication  1994  Press of Evans'v peared repeatedly was that participation in the insurance plan needed to double to make the plan viable. However, there was no mention of any research conducted by the com- mittee among diocesan employ- ees that suggests this increase is possible. If, despite the im- provements, employees chose to remain outside the plan, the new plan would fail and the ef- fort would be wasted. No mention was made in the article of the many other means of creating a larger par- ticipant pool when shopping for insurance. For instance, the Evansville Diocese should com- bine its insurance pool with another diocese or several other dioceses to form a much larger pool. Major corporations do not buy insurance for each location but for all their em- ployees. Why wouldn't the Catholic Church use this ap- proach. If these issues were ad- dressed, the information should be shared. Parishes are being asked to come up with a lot of money for this proposal, and that money will not be available unless the people in the parishes understand why it is needed and that it is being used wisely. The $3,600 annual assess- ment per employee could easily be 50 percent of a part-time employee's pay for working 30 hours per week during the school year. That reality alone raises several questions. There was also mention that the insurance program would become mandatory at some point. Not all families will ben- efit from having two health care packages. Partial cover- age through two plans can cost the employee more than com- plete coverage in one plan. My insurance cost would drop less than $1,700 if my wife had sep- arate insurance while the parish would pay $3,600 to cover her. Families where the church employee is the second income may be much better off with a higher salary than a du- plicate insurance program that interferes with their primary coverage. John C. Wolber Evansville uations that inhibit the solu- tion of other pressing social problems, such as health care and education." Some programs for the low- income that have been pro- moted by the U.S. bishops get additional funds in the Clinton budget. They include the Head Start preschool education pro- gram and the Women, Infants and Children nutrition pro- gram. But the emergency food as- sistance program that has pro- vided tons of surplus food to the poor over the years and has supplemented the efforts of parish- and community- based food pantries "will cease to exist as we know it," said Ron Jackson, USCC policy ad- viser on food, agriculture and rural development. Clinton cut its budget 84 percent this year, and officials of the Department of Agricul- ture have bulk of tance will sector, Since won't be imP later in impact on the get, even a-pack increaS on cigaret fund But, USCC policy and welfare budget pro seems reform by cu health less, _ tive AmericanS' "Given the lic relations the ClintOn. plan is See Bishop's sc The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger , / !;